SANDY, Utah (Saturday, September 19, 2015) – For the second straight match at Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake controlled the match from start to finish against a top-tier Western Conference foe. After blitzing Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 at home on August 22, RSL got two goals from FW Devon Sandoval and a third from MF Javier Morales to score a 3-0 win over the LA Galaxy Saturday night in front of a stadium-record crowd of 21,004.
In addition to Sandoval’s brace, Morales finished the night with a goal and an assist and GK Nick Rimando had four saves to earn his 123rd career shutout.
RSL got off to a fast start, scoring in the third minute off a free kick to take the early advantage.
Morales played the ball in from the left side, finding DF Aaron Maund for a header. Maund redirected the ball across the box for Sandoval, who poked his shot back across the goal and inside the far post for his third goal of the season and second in as many matches to lift Salt Lake to the 1-0 lead.
In the 27th minute, FW Juan Manuel Martinez drew a penalty after a crunching tackle from behind by Juninho as Martinez streaked up the left side of the box.
Morales converted the penalty for his eighth goal of the season, ripping his shot into the bottom left corner to extend RSL’s lead to 2-0 in the 28th minute.
Despite being outshot 8-2 in the first half, Salt Lake went into halftime toting that 2-0 lead as Rimando saved both LA shots on goal, but wasn’t content with the two-goal advantage going into the second half.
In the 53rd minute, Martinez worked his way to the endline and popped the ball back to Sandoval for a header back into the left side of the net for his second goal of the match and fourth goal of the season to power Salt Lake to a 3-0 lead.
It looked like FW Joao Plata got into the mix in the 76th minute when he got in behind the defense and blasted his shot past Donovan Ricketts, but the linesman had his flag up to signal offside and the goal was waved off.
In the 90th minute, Rimando came up with his biggest save of the night as Alan Gordon got away on a run off a ball from Gyasi Zardes. Rimando converged at the edge of the box and blocked Gordon’s shot with his shoulder to preserve the shutout, improving RSL to 10-11-8 (38 points) and just three points out of the sixth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Real Salt Lake will resume CONCACAF Champions League play on Thursday, hosting Santa Tecla FC after playing to a scoreless draw against the Salvadoran side last week. RSL shares the lead in Group G standings with four points (1-0-1), even with Municipal from Guatemala (1-1-1). RSL’s next MLS match will be at Avaya Stadium on Sunday, September 27.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSLvLA
- DF Tony Beltran, RSL’s All-Star right back, made his first start at left back since June 30, 2012.
- DF Aaron Maund celebrated his 25th birthday on Saturday.
- Saturday marked the fourth time this season that MF Javier Morales recorded both a goal and an assist in a match. He has now done it two consecutive matches after doing the same against the Houston Dynamo last week.
- 21,004 set a new Rio Tinto Stadium attendance record. It is the fourth time this season that a new attendance standard had been reached. The previous matches were against Toronto FC (March 29), New York City FC (May 23) and Orlando City SC (July 4). Six of the top 12 all-time attendance figures at Rio Tinto Stadium occurred in MLS matches this season and a seventh came when Mexico faced Trinidad & Tobago in a friendly earlier this month.
REAL SALT LAKE 3-0 LA GALAXY
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 1 3
LA Galaxy 0 0 0
RSL: Devon Sandoval (Aaron Maund, Javier Morales) 3’
RSL: Javier Morales (PK) 28’
RSL: Devon Sandoval (Juan Manuel Martinez) 53’
RSL: Javier Morales (Yellow; Foul) 15’.
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Nick Rimando; Jordan Allen, Aaron Maund, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luke Mulholland, Javier Morales (John Stertzer 91+’); Juan Manuel Martinez (Olmes Garcia 83’), Devon Sandoval (Sebastian Jaime 88’), Joao Plata.
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Abdoulie Mansally, Pecka, Elias Vasquez.
LA Galaxy (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts; A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Robbie Rogers (Alan Gordon 67’); Giovani dos Santos (Edson Buddle 77’), Juninho, Steven Gerrard, Sebastian Lletget (Baggio Husidic 67’); Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes.
Substitutes not used: Brian Rowe, Dan Gargan, David Romney, Mika Vayrynen.
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Kyle Atkins
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Clear and 72 degrees